TiD&B Interview: UnquotePosted by Lady V on Monday, November 7th, 2011
Last week saw the release of Unquote’s ‘Reverberation Box’ on Med School Music; an expansive dream-like collection of tracks, effortlessly delicate yet rich with emotion. Fresh from dropping this stunning debut, we caught up with the young talented producer hailing from St Petersburg, Russia to find out more about the man behind the music…
TiD&B: Can you introduce yourself – how long have you been making music for, and how did your signature sound come about?
Unquote: I have been working under the Unquote alias since 2007, though it took some time before my tunes were ready to send to people. The first guy who noticed me was DJ Gvozd from St. Petersburg, owner of Respect Records. My first success was when my tune was used on his radio show “Pirate Station”, which broadcasts in St. Petersburg and some other Russian cities. Since then, quite of a lot of my tunes, covering a variety of different subgenres including halfstep, technoid, drumfunk, mainstream, ragga jungle, have been played on his show.
In terms of my signature sound – whilst producing these different genres and trying out all styles, except I think atmospheric, in 2009 I noticed that above all, my music is largely melodic teamed with some kind of experimental formulation. It’s mostly 170bpm electronic music and more recently also 130bpm.
TiD&B: Would you say that ‘Reverberation Box’ sums up what Unquote is all about?
Unquote: I wouldn’t want to summarise everything about my musical persona in one album alone, but I have to say I’m very proud that London Elektricity observed potential in me and signed me to Med School Music in the early stages of my music career and I hope this album doesn’t disappoint him and the great ‘music school’. For me, the story has just begun!
TiD&B: Can you tell us more about how you write music? How long does it take for you to create a track? Are there specific stages you go through?
Unquote: Producing each tune takes anything from one week to one month. I don’t have enough time to work in the studio every day, as I’m still studying at university, so that’s why it takes so long.
Each tune passes through the following stages:-
1. The original idea – it can be an interesting melody, vocal or any ingredient of the tune. Or sometimes the idea can be in a previously invented title. For me, it’s a novelty for now, but I like to work when I already have something, even if just to diffuse a line of thought.
2. Elaboration – at this point, everything is easy; different instruments are added for melodies, drums, some of which during the process are eliminated because they stop the feeling of the tune.
3. Total rebuilding – it’s rare but sometimes everything I’ve built in a tune gets deleted or completely changed.
4. Work with a second part (after second drop) – in every tune after the second drop, you can find changes in varying levels – it can be a different rhythm, changed melody, some effect etc. I try to pay a lot of attention to this point, so it becomes much more interesting to listen to; in any case, I always press ‘repeat’ on my player.
5. Cosmetic fixes – this is where I bring the tune to its final stage. Unfortunately, I can’t give a specific example as when finishing a tune, I can never remember how I did it…
TiD&B: What are the things, inside and outside of music, that influence you the most? Was there a particular influence behind ‘Reverberation Box’?
Unquote: Most of all I’m inspired by loneliness, my emotional feelings and the effect of human relationships. I can see all of it in a movie and it inspires me to produce new compositions. ‘Reverberation Box’ contains a lot of feelings from my soul – sad ones as well as more sensual tunes. I produce music not only as a hobby, but also for emotional release. I’m a pretty funny guy in everyday life though!
TiD&B: Are there any artists, from any genre, that you’d like to work with?
Unquote: Yep, I would love to work with Burial. I became acquainted with his music quite recently, although I know that people have been making comparisons between our music for a little while now. His music really strikes a chord with me; he’s an awesome musician. But for now, a collaboration is just a dream!
Burial ‘Archangel’ (2007, Hyperdub)
TiD&B: St.Petersburg is definitely a place inspiring a lot of new electronic artists, what is it about the city that is so special in this respect?
Unquote: St Petersburg is a very beautiful city. Everyone can find their own favourite place here; it might be the superb monuments or architecture, narrow cosy streets, broad avenues crowded with institutions, or dark yards painted by graffiti in the inactive industrial district. Also, there are a huge number of youths who want to find their place in life! All of this provides a great base for an inspiring electronic musician.
TiD&B: What’s your favourite part of what you do?
Unquote: For me it’s the moment when I get caught up in an idea and begin to develop it. Usually it instantly takes my breath away. When an idea doesn’t come I just like to search for any new VSTIs, try to make a melody, rotate the knobs or just cut vocals.
TiD&B: What are your future plans? Will we have a chance to catch you in the UK soon?
Unquote: If all goes well, then I want to start working on my next album which will definitely include collabos with new musicians and singers. With regards to coming over to the UK for events, it just depends on visas – getting a visa is the only problem stopping me. For Russians it always pans out with difficulty (mostly not being able to!)
Check out a sample of the album below: